In design business, when you love the work that you do, it doesn’t feel like work.
Can we really do good work and the work we love, and continue to succeed? Sure! Do we have to work with miserable people on either side of a project? Nah. As an independent contractor, I’m really grateful for the clients that I get to work for. And I strive to operate a happy design business, to be a great designer and strategist for my clients, and above all – a partner. I have the opportunity to work on projects that are fun and fulfilling. I believe in the idea that when you do the work you love, that it doesn’t feel like “work”. Of course, there’s the actual work that goes into it, but again, when we love what we do it’s fun. But how do we make sure we’re getting the good projects and great partnerships? Here’s a couple of considerations for you independent types out there:
Are you valued?
You’re bid or proposal was accepted for a reason – you’re a pro! When you can share and apply your expertise to a conversation, and it’s considered in the process, you’re doing good. Sometimes you might find yourself being overly controlled, and not sure what to do. This is a good opportunity to remind a client as to why they hired you in the first place.
Do your clients give you time to be creative and do good work?
Clients should understand that things don’t just magically appear. There’s a process. You know it, they should know it. If they don’t, that’s okay because this presents an opportunity to educate your clients on what you need. They’ll thank you for being clear and transparent about what you need to do good work.
Are you getting along?
How’s the energy in the room? Or when you meet up with a client? Does it feel sticky? Does the conversation flow naturally? Pay attention to the vibe in the room. If your gut throws red flags, or you have any sense of hesitation, you are in a good place to reconsider this project or client relationship. Remember, respect goes both ways.
Do the work you love, build healthy relationships with your clients, understand and respect each other in the creative process. Remember, you don’t have to do work that you don’t want to do or that you’re not comfortable with. It’s especially important to remember this as we’re building and growing our businesses.
Design related questions? Want to work together? Let’s talk!